COMME À LISBONNE
The grand love affair with pasteis de nata (portuguese custard tarts) had all started with a trip to Portugal six years ago. Bakeries always had these on display and one place that is so often recommended when asking around for things to do in Lisbon is to make a visit to the renowned and much loved Pastéis de Belém. Perhaps not the most aesthetically pleasing pastry in the world but once you take a bite, all of those preconceptions instantly vanish into thin air. The old saying of don’t judge a book by its cover holds some serious truth here.
The pastel de nata has got to be one of our all time favourite pastries. We simply can not walk past a bakery that sells them and look the other way.
So what makes a good pastel de nata? Here is our simple checklist:
Does the pastry have same crunch you hear when you step on super crunchy autumn leaf after the first bite?
Does the top have that beautiful char that’s shape is unique to each tart and tells you it’s been cooked to perfection?
Do I have the option* to sprinkle cinnamon on top?
One place we found in Paris that ticks all the boxes is Comme à Lisbonne, where there’s also the added bonus of savouring them just as they come out of the oven.
Comme à Lisbonne is found in the eclectic Marais quarter, known for its hip culture, shopping, art galleries, bars and everything in between. Once you find yourself on Rue de Roi-de-Sicile, just follow the aroma of the freshly baked pasteis de nata that lingers. The recipe is a highly guarded secret as most amazing delicacies that have been passed on from generation to generation are. Victor Silveira, the owner of the shop, uses his mother’s recipe and quite clearly, the end result does not disappoint.
During the week you’ll find that there is minimal to no queuing however on weekends you’ll often see a group of people lining up to purchase these delights and a group of confused tourists wondering what people are queuing for in the first place. Whatever group you’re in, do yourself a favour and just try them.
*Seriously, how can you not like cinnamon.
Comme à Lisbonne
37, Rue de Roi-de-Sicile, Paris